Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kitchen Remodel week 2!

Well I have to say so far this entire process is far and away exceeding my expectations! Good grief I hope I didn't just jinx us! Mike Carducci and his company Homewreckers construction is the contractor we hired through recommendation from McDaniel's kitchen and bath designs, probably the best kitchen design in the Lansing area. They have done more in a week and a half than I can even imagine and the quality of their work is top notch! Jordan Chemanski is our trim carpenter that works for Mike and man oh man does he do amazing work! If you need a great trim carpenter he's your guy!

Jenna Way, our kitchen designer from McDaniel's drew up the entire plan and did a fabulous job! We are going to LOVE our new kitchen! Fortunately the process has been relatively painless for us living in construction since we have a full bar area off our dining room with a full sized refrigerator and bar countertop. We moved our little counter top Breville convection/toaster oven to the bar and microwave as well which pretty much gives us everything we need. We just can't do anything on a range but thank goodness it's starting to warm up enough to grill so we've been doing just fine.

Week two has the hole cut in the ceiling and the GINORMOUS fan and duct being installed for the hood. Good grief it's so powerful I think I could blow dry my hair in the morning while making the kids breakfast!

Mike put up a plastic perimeter wall for us blocking off the kitchen from the rest of the house 
to protect us from all the drywall dust and debris from the hood installation

getting the duct in place

week two also involved a bit more extensive electrical work putting the new convection oven/microwave in

We got a sweet deal from our friends who work at Whirlpool on a fantastic KitchenAid oven!

OK - I sure wasn't expecting THIS outside!

Getting the ductwork in for the hood and blower. Giant blower fan will be installed
in the outside wall

Bamboo from Teragren cut to size for our butcher block in the counter. We will use the rest
of the bamboo slab for bench tops for our custom bench/locker area that Mike will build for us at the garage entry

Putting in the frame for the mammoth hood

Wolf hood - it's a MONSTER!
There might have been a few profanities while the guys brought the
1000 pound Sub Zero in to install! Happily I was at a meeting in Detroit and missed all of the action!

Just...shove... it in!!!! Haha!

ANA granite from Flint was here to do the template for the counters. Crazy what they
do with an iPad, laser pointer and a tripod!

Sub is in... well almost

My beautiful new KitchenAid micro/convection oven. Butcher block will sit above it right next to the range. The door opens down like an oven and looks like a small oven rather than a microwave. I've gone from a one oven kitchen to three now!
Thanksgiving at the Hokes!

There it is - that GIANT blower fan all installed like it's been there all along!
Thinking maybe we should install one in Drew's bathroom... haha!

So this is the island before it was demoed but you can see in the back by the garage door there is a little partial wall. That came out and that is where we will put in the bench and locker storage area
so that I don't have to see 9 pairs of shoes by the door in a house that 4 people live in!
(insert eye twitch here...)

Wall is out 

It definitely opens the room up so much more

beautiful trim work above the Sub Zero

and above the hood. Looks fabulous!

Supposedly the range will be moving from the garage into it's new home today but I'm not feeling overly confident on that one so we will wait until next week's edition to post the pic of that!

Granite install in 2 weeks followed by tile backsplash. Next week the bay window goes in the kitchen where the large picture window currently is. Bench and locker area sometime between now and then!

Looking like mid May for completion and move back in!

Can't wait!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

From vacation relaxation to a complete kitchen overhaul in 24 hours!

It's amazing how quickly the relaxing feeling from a fabulous vacation can fade when you come home to finishing boxing up an entire kitchen and the next day a crew basically demoing it! Yikes! What was I thinking??? I know it will be fabulous and all worth it in the end though.

Tommy and I have wanted to redo our kitchen for the longest time. With life in football you never know how long you're going to live where you are so we waited and waited and waited thinking maybe we will move and build or find the perfect house. Well it's looking more and more like we are here for awhile so we decided... no time like the present! So we headed out to McDaniel's kitchen and bath and started our new kitchen design with a fantastic kitchen designer there. The process started on Monday with covering the floor and tearing out the existing island. We aren't doing an entire kitchen remodel but rather changing out the appliances to my dream appliances, Sub Zero and Wolf Range and making the island HUGE for real workable counter space for me. Lots of cool additions in that with 2 levels of seating at the island, granite, bamboo butcher block in the island, etc.

I will update every week as we progress and hope to have it finished for a kitchen party in May! I will post the pics in order from start to finish. Starting with the kitchen as it was before we packed anything up.

not much counter space and tiny little island with range 

microwave sits in the little cubby on the side with unused shelves next to it

kitchen table eating area

from the corner behind the eating area looking into kitchen, dining and bar area

this little cabinet is a junk holder for the kids and has got to go!

little island and Jenn-Air range with downdraft. Love the range but the downdraft
doesn't really cut it when lots of smoke comes off the range. We will be installing a huge hood over the Wolf Range

This was Monday! Covered the floor (replacing and patching some of the Brazilian cherry hardwood floor will be a challenge...) and took out the island and appliances

Bye kitchen table! This window will come out and a Bay window will go in

The perimeter of the kitchen will stay intact. We will replace the current granite sink with a new one
and new granite countertops. The marble tile backsplash will go all the way down to the countertop. My fabulous KitchenAid dishwasher will stay as well. Love that thing - Consumer Reports was right,
it's quiet as hell and a fabulous dishwasher! I've had it for about 8 years and it's still going strong!

moving the big pantry cabinet over to make room for the Sub Zero

bringing in the cabinets for the island Tuesday

this thing is going to be...uhhhh.... BIG

The cabinet with the four slots is actually where the convection microwave oven
will go. Have to retool the cabinet a bit

This is where the Mac Daddy range will live! :-)

Fabulous bamboo butcher block from Teragren! The remainder will be used for the benchtops for our
bench and locker area by the garage door. Hopefully the kids will dump backpacks and shoes
there so I don't have to see them all over my kitchen!

the island has a lot of cabinets and storage space for me as well as tons of usable counter
and prep space

it extends into the eating area where the kitchen table was. This will seat 4 at the island

raised area is larger and very similar to what we had before

YAYYYY!!!! Never so happy to see a truck back into my driveway!
The new appliances are here! The new appliances are here!!

Mr. Wolf will have to stay in the garage for a little while still.

Giant hole in ceiling for the GINORMOUS hood that
will be installed next week!

Three new holes in the ceiling for our fabulous new pendant lights
that I think some little old Italian man is hand blowing in Venice or something like that
given how long it appears to be taking for them to ship out!

That's pretty much week one in the books. Can't even believe how much they've gotten done
in such a short time!

Stay tuned for week two updates next week!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Belize Spring Break Fun! The last days of a great vacation!

Well all good things eventually must come to an end and our fabulous vacation was no exception. What a fantastic, fun and adventure filled week we had! Can't beat a vacation that starts out at an amazing Eco lodge in the jungle followed by cave tubing and zip lining and ending with scuba diving that included an up close and personal experience with dolphins! Well one of us got that experience while the rest of us got massages on the beach. Choices...

Early morning view from the patio of our beautiful condo at Grand Colony island villas.
We own the timeshare here and come back almost every year and love it!

Heading to the dive shop for Jenny's last check out dives for her certification. Molly is just a day behind her. New Saga puppy Oliver enjoys some fun golf cart time before heading to the US and Michigan!

Heading out on the dive boat! 3 scuba divas!

Kris, Jenny and Oliver stay back while we are diving and hold down the beach chairs for us! :-)

We decided to grab lunch at our favorite restaurant and my Saga pups namesake Wild Mango's!
This restaurant NEVER disappoints! A must stop on every trip for us.

Off we go on our dives!

This is Molly's last checkout dive for her certification! Look out for the shark Molly!!

He's right below you Molly!!

I think I'm saying "Molly! Swim THIS way!!!" Haha!

Apparently she doesn't have enough meat on her bones and he's off looking for something tastier.

Got a great pic of all of us after the girls finished their Padi certification and Drew is now an official Padi Rescue Diver! He is now starting on his DiveMaster certification which is awesome!

We celebrated all of the kids diving success at Roadkill Bar for Wade's famous Gringo burgers!
They are famous and delicious so don't miss them if you travel here!

It has really been an amazing trip with great fun and great friends! I hope we can all do it again someday soon!

Our final pic is after we got home taken yesterday in my backyard. Two Belizean island dogs from the same fantastic place, Saga Humane Society are now neighbors and friends!

If you travel to Belize and fall in love with an island dog, please know how absolutely EASY it is to take one home! No major hassles or quarantines whatsoever. Just a health certificate, a crate, an airline ticket and a lifetime of love!

Bye for now Belize! See you next year in March!!